Would the United States Come to Nazareth’s Aid? Local and International Contests over the City’s Water
settler colonialism
Palestinian citizens
Holy Sites
Point Four Program
Cold War

This article explores the appeals for aid made by Nazareth’s inhabitants to the US Point Four Program (the predecessor to today’s USAID) to implement a water infrastructure project during the early 1950s. It argues that this was one of several attempts by Palestinians to push back against their exclusion and marginalization by the nascent Israeli state and to retain some measure of autonomy in local governance. Focusing on this settler-colonial setting, and on the role of nonstate actors in what became a protracted and complex conflict, I show how water rights and resource management were embroiled in the political contests that shaped the process of decolonization, at both local and international levels.

Author biography: 
Leena Dallasheh is an associate professor of history at Cal Poly Humboldt in California. Her research focuses on the history of Palestine/Israel, with a particular interest in Palestinians who became citizens of Israel in 1948. She is currently finishing her manuscript, Living Through the Nakba: Nazareth’s Palestinians in the Transition from British Mandate to Israel, on the social and political history of Nazareth in the transitional period between British and Israeli rule.